President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The Latest: Trump calls top Democrat Schiff 'pencil-neck'

March 28, 2019 - 7:54 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's rally in Michigan (all times local):

7:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is attacking Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California as he speaks to supporters in Michigan, calling the Democratic lawmaker a "little pencil-neck."

The president is running through a list of grievances as he revels in his attorney general's summary that Special Counsel Robert Mueller could not establish that President Donald Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Earlier in the event, his son Donald Trump Jr., issued similar insults incorporating Schiff's last name.

Trump says the Democratic Party, the "fake news media" and the "deep state" failed to overturn the result of the 2016 election.

He says "many people were badly hurt by this scam, but more importantly our country was hurt."

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7:30 p.m.

A fired-up President Donald Trump is turning the end of the special counsel's Russia investigation into a political weapon at a boisterous rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Trump is telling a crowd of thousands that: "After three years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead. The collusion delusion is over."

He's also calling the investigation "nothing more than a sinister effort" to undermine his 2016 election victory and "sabotage the will of the American people."

The rally is Trump's first political event since news broke that special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of his campaign colluding with Russians.

Mueller did not, however, come to a conclusion on obstruction of justice, leaving that up to his new attorney general.

Trump is calling the report "total exoneration" and "complete vindication" nonetheless.

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7:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump's supporters are taking a victory lap at his first political rally since the end of the Mueller investigation was announced.

The president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., is telling a crowd of thousands in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on America" is now "out the window."

And he's thanking his father's supporters for sticking with him, saying "it's not just our vindication, it's your vindication" too.

The Justice Department announced Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia — but that Mueller did not reach a conclusion on obstruction.

Trump Jr. is also taking repeated shots at Trump antagonist Michael Avenatti, who was arrested this week, saying the lawyer went from "Avenatti 2020 to Avenatti 20-25. Maybe 50."

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5:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is turning his attention to 2020 now that the special counsel's investigation is largely behind him.

Trump is heading to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for a rally Thursday night — his first political event since the Justice Department said Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find that his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia's election meddling.

As he left the White House, Trump said, "Michigan is booming."

Loyal supporters started lining up in front of the Van Andel Arena on Wednesday evening, with some camping out in tents and sleeping bags overnight. By midafternoon, a crowd of thousands, many in red "Make America Great Again" hats, snaked for blocks around downtown Grand Rapids, just across the river from The Gerald Ford Presidential Museum.

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